Well, this is weird and embarrassing: All Things Digital’s John Paczkowski, who reported earlier today on a $100 discount for new Sprint customers who bring their phone numbers from another carrier that brought the final price of the Palm Pre to $99, has posted a new story saying that Sprint has decided to pull the offer a few hours after it announced it. The deal was supposed to last through October 10th; instead, it turned into an Incredibly Limited Time Offer.
Sprint is saying that it’s yanking the promotion because it was “put into the system in error,” but there’s just gotta be more of a backstory here.
Paczkowski notes that the offer is still live on Sprint’s site–and yup, it’s still there as I write this.
The whole story points out a basic issue with the Pre: By introducing the iPhone 3GS at $199 (with a two-year contract) and knocking the original iPhone 3G down to $99, Apple succeeded in making the $199 Pre (which has 8GB of memory vs. the 3GS’s 16GB at that price point) look a tad pricey. I imagine it’s inevitable that Palm will need to release a 16GB Pre for $199, or work with Sprint to get the price of the 8GB down to $99. Or both.
I continue to find the Pre to be the most impressive iPhone rival that’s actually on the market–upcoming Android phones could change that–and to hope that it’s a hit, both because it deserves to be one and because Apple needs the competition. For what it’s worth, I’ve been surprised by the number of folks I’ve encountered lately who have bought Pres recently–and all of them have told me they’re pleased with their purchase. Of course, I live in a hotbed of phone geekery, so my random encounters with Pre owners may or may not be representative…